By Georgie du Boulay, Block 5
The 10-day Global Awareness trip to India at half term was one that will stay with the 17 students and three teachers who attended for the rest of their lives.
For the first three days, we were immersed in the dusty air and sun-baked atmosphere of Delhi sightseeing, which was jaw-dropping itself – yet nothing could compare to the timeless and unforgettable experience we had in McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsahla in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It was a brilliant introduction to volunteering! From the mass clean-up of the streets, to the eye-opening mutual learning with the Tibetan Refugees programme, each day was full of exciting activities that we had never done before.
The highlight of the trip, however, was waking up at 5.30am one morning and walking five short minutes to see the Dalai Lama’s temple to meet his Holiness himself (pictured above). We sat in a teaching, where His Holiness discussed materialism, reality, and wisdom. We took a wonderful picture of the group, where a couple of us where fortunate enough to hold hands with His Holiness.
The people we met, the conversations we had and the things we learnt mean I can say that all of us were touched by this experience and it was probably one of the most important experiences some of us will ever have. None of this could have happened without the three wonderful teachers that walked with us into this experience: Ana, Jane, and Gordon, who were all exceptional just by being themselves.